By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The Federal Government, Sunday, disclosed of inaugurating a Technical Committee on revitalizing service of 75, 000 agricultural extension workers in two years in order to enhance farmers’ performance and productivity.
The inauguration was made by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Muhammad Nanono, in Abuja, as contained in a statement signed by the Director, Information, Theodore Ogaziechi, saying that the move by the Ministry is geared towards stimulating technology adoption and to promote Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) in the sector.
The Technical Committee is made up of the following members; Frank S. Kudla, Director, Extension Services, Chairman, Karima I. Babangida, Director, Federal Department of Agriculture, Prof. M.K Othman, Director, NAERLS, Prof. Sani Miko, Director, SASAKAWA, Rose Idi, Resource Person, ADP,Bauchi, Dr. Oyebanji O. Olumide, Resource Person, Umar Wali, Resource Person/HMA Office/Secretary.
Nanono said: “This technical committee inaugurated on the revitalization of extension services workers is as a result that agricultural development in Nigeria requires an integrated approach to revive extension advisory services.
“The programme would stimulate technology adoption and embed Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) towards improving food requirements and industrial expectations.
“The committee is to design a system of training agricultural extension workers in the next two years and to recommend measures for the upgrading and retooling of extension training institutions across the country.
“The committee would assist the Ministry in developing a workable framework and actionable programme for the training of 75,000 extension workers in collaboration with States’ Agricultural Development Projects (ADPs).”
According to the statement, the Terms of Reference of the 7-man committee include examining proposals submitted and international best practices in extension services and draw key learning points; to recommend an immediate actionable model of training of 75,000 extension workers in 2020; to develop a workable framework for engaging and working with the states in the continuous training and retraining of extension services workers; to recommend how to integrate and use the national farmers’ helpline center with 6 zonal centers for real-time information dissemination, updates, feedbacks, and capacity of farmers and relevant stakeholders; to developing mechanisms for the implementation of recommendations, including monitoring and evaluation; and to make other recommendation that would help in fast-tracking the complete transformation of extension services in Nigeria.
However, the Minister pointed that it has become imperative to review extension services training modules and practices implementation in Nigeria with the aim of making them occupy a strategic position in the sector, hence effectiveness and efficiency in service delivery.
Speaking on behalf of the committee, the Chairman who also doubles as Director, Extension Services in the Ministry, Engr. Frank Kudla, pledged that the committee would work assiduously to deliver on its mandate.